Monday, October 27, 2008

Remember that time someone called me "post-abortive"?

You may or may not remember this, but about a million years ago I posted something about how I didn't really like looking at ultrasound pictures of other people's unborn babies because it reminded me too much of abortion protesters' signs. And then a wack job came on my blog and called me "post-abortive." Y'all remember that?

Well, apparently this level of discourse has hit the presidential election. National Review says that the reason we liberal wimmens don't like Sarah Palin is because we, and all of us who agree with us, are "post-abortive". Or suffering from collective guilt from knowing those who are post-abortive. I'm getting dizzy from this line of logic.

I swear, this election is boiling my brain.

I read the original article at National Review a number of times, but I couldn't quite parse the nuttiness. I prefer Wonkette's synopsis ever so much more. Go read more about your collective guilt at Wonkette.

Friday, October 10, 2008

If you're at all interested in this Ayers thing

then you should read this article from EdWeek explaining the original Annenberg grants in Chicago. It was not an attempt to inculcate children with radiacal philosophies, as Idiot Dick Morris has suggested, but:

In fact, the project undertaken in Chicago as part of a high-profile national initiative reflected mainstream thinking among education reformers. The Annenberg Foundation’s $49.2 million grant in the city focused on three priorities: encouraging collaboration among teachers and better professional development; reducing the isolation between schools and between schools and their communities; and reducing school size to improve learning....

And the creation of small schools has continued as a reform strategy nationwide, most recently with major funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Wow. I'd hate for such a radical idea as smaller schools and increasing school and community involvement to become widespread. What a terrible idea. Sigh.

Another longer quote, discussing the present day interpretation of the various projects and how off base they are.

The proposal was backed by letters of support to the Annenberg Foundation from Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar, a Republican, local education school deans, the superintendent of the Chicago public schools, and the heads of local foundations.

“Part of the work was to build a strong community around schools,” said Ms. Hallett, who is now the director of Grow Your Own Illinois, a Chicago-based teacher-recruitment project. “Most of the schools had been isolated for a long time.”

To manage the Annenberg grant and raise the necessary matching funds, the Chicago project was required by the Annenberg Foundation to have a board of directors.

Critics of Sen. Obama assert that Mr. Ayers must have played a role in his selection as the chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote in a Sept. 23 opinion essay in The Wall Street Journal that it was an “unsettled question” how “a former community organizer fresh out of law school could vault to the top of a new foundation.”

Those involved in selecting Mr. Obama, however, say it was precisely that background that attracted them to him.

Mr. Obama, then 33, was an associate at the law firm Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Galland and a member of the board of the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation. He also served, as Mr. Ayers later did with him, on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which had financed the Developing Communities Project, a South Side community-organizing project that Mr. Obama ran from 1985 to 1988 before leaving to attend Harvard Law School.

He brought that organizing perspective with him to the new education project, telling the Chicago Tribune in a June 1995 article about the Chicago Annenberg Challenge: “If we’re really going to change things in this city, it’s going to start at the grassroots level and with our children.”

Go read the rest of the article. It's very good.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Needing coffee

I took my kids up to Michael's farm last weekend. I met a girl there I had previously only talked to online. She was amazed at the horses and is now an instant fan. Not of me, but of Michael and the way he talks about and treats his horses.

My friend fell in love with this guy, Eldar HD:

The chick with the extravagant hair is the ever-lovely Neo.

Eldar is a young stud colt, as is Latitude who's standing behind him.

Here are some older studs. (Ignore the file name if you click on the picture. I saved it as "Primitivo", but that's entirely incorrect. He's not even in this picture.) Here are Shiraz, in front, and I believe that's Bright Flame walking behind him. Bright Flame* and his full brother (not pictured) have very similar markings and are turned out in the same paddock. Shiraz, Eldar, and Latitude are all Davenports and are therefore very closely related.

My friend in Georgia, whom Neo and I visited a few years ago, has a bunch of horses who are related to Shiraz's father, a lovely horse named Regency. So there's a connection between the two farms and between other horses you've seen me post in the past.

Here's Neo getting mauled by Almohada, a black mare who insists on getting petted. She's practically strangling herself! Almohada is also a Davenport.

And here's Phebe petting a lovely Arabian who is NOT a Davenport! Wow. Considering that the minority of Michael's horses are Davenports, it's amazing how few pictures I have of the non-Davenports. Anyway, this is Crystal Naiah, a lovely mare with old classic California Arabian bloodlines. This group excels in Endurance competitions as well as in all around sport competitions (dressage, hunter over fences, etc.). And they're cute too.

Phebe got pretty bored pretty fast, so I gave her the camera. I therefore have many many pictures of the ground and of people's chins. Not so many of the horses. Oh well. I'll have to go back up and get more.

*Edited to add: It's actually not Bright Flame, as pointed out in the comments by Ambar, but his full brother. So yeah, I goofed on the identification.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Reading habits

Sarah Palin, when asked what newspapers she reads, responded, "All of them."

There are so many snarky comments rumbling around in my head, but none of them seem quite up to the stupidity of that phrase. All of them? Really?

So that means that you read my local "Herald", a paper so awful that there are more pages devoted to "Church notices" than there are to news. A paper that prints letters to the editor on a half page on Thursdays, but only if they've been received by Tuesday at noon, and then doesn't print all of them (maybe five on any topic) because they don't have enough room. Yeah, that one. The paper that once quoted me as saying that all Kindergarten parents should help their kids with homework. (NO. Kindergarten parents should help their kids get used to doing homework, if the kid gets some.)

Along with my local "Herald" there's the more reputable local paper, the "Herald". Yes, it's confusing. Then there's the Contra Costa Times, the Examiner, and the Chronicle. Then the smaller independent papers, like the Alameda Sun and the East Bay Express.

I haven't even hit the national papers yet.

What an insanely uneducated comment. All of them.

How many websites do you read? All of them.

How may library books have you read? All of them.

The most frustrating type of ignorance is what I call willful stupidity. I'm proud of the fact that I'm dumber than you, because it proves my genuine down-home truthiness, and I won't bother to learn anything, because that would make me less of a person than I am now.

I ran into willful stupidity, or obstinate ignorance, All The Time in school board meetings. It was deeply shocking the first three or four times I encountered it. Now it just makes the top of my head blow off.

Isn't the whole POINT of public libraries and public schools that people thought that you would become a BETTER person if only you enhanced your innate qualities through education? So much for respecting the Founding Fathers and that whole Age of Enlightenment thingy-ma-bob.